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World Class Care. ., Anytime, Ajiywhere 

Issue 6 
March 14, 2008 

Inside this Issue: 

Navy Healthcare Providers Part of 
Joint Team at Operation Arctic | 

DoN Awards Contract for Initial 
Phase of New Walter Reed NMMC 

Education, Change Stressed at 
Autism Conference 

Yokosuka Utilizes Pediatric 
Aquatic Therapy 

Items of Interest: 

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these conditions when possible and 
managing them when present. The risk 
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Navy and Marine 
Corps Medical News 

A Public Affairs Publication of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 

Nl\/I's Newest Command: Navy Medicine 
Training Center is Latest Step Toward In- 
tegrated Enlisted Medical Training 

By Larry Coffey, Navy Medicine Sup- 
port Command Public Affairs Office 


The largest consolidation of service 
training in DoD history nnoved a 
step closer to completion Feb. 29 
with the comnnissioning of the Navy 
Medicine Training Center (NMTC) 

NMTC will support inter-service 
education and training as the Navy 
service element command for the 
joint-service enlisted Medical Edu- 
cation Training Campus (METC), 
scheduled to open between 2010 
and 2011. 

"We are committed to one inte- 
grated inter-service education and 
training system that leverages the 
assets of all DoD health-care practi- 
tioners," said Vice Adm. Adam M. 
Robinson J r., Surgeon General of previous successes. This is the right 

the Navy and the METC commis- thing to do." 

sioning ceremony guest speaker. Capt. Greg Craigmiles, NMTC 

"We must continue to build on our (Continued on page 3) 

SAN ANTONIO - Vice Adm. Adam M. Rob- 
inson J r., Surgeon General of the Navy, 
speal<s to audience during the Feb. 29 com- 
missioning ceremony of the Navy Medicine 
Training Center (NMTC) at Ft. Sam Houston 
in San Antonio, Texas. U.S. Navy photo by 
Olivia J. Mendoza 

SAN DIEGO - Adm. Patrick Walsh, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, is assisted by Carol Russ, 
staff Provider Virtual Reality Research Program Psychologist, during a demonstration of the Vir- 
tual Realty (VR) lab at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD). Walsh U.S. Navy photo by 
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg Mitchell 

March 1^ 

Page 2 

Navy Healthcare Providers Part of Joint Team at Operation 
Arctic Care 

By Mass Communication Specialist 
2nd Class Matt Grills, Commander, 
Navy Reserve Force Public Affairs 

KODI AK, Alaska - Navy Re- 
serve medical and dental personnel 
joined their counterparts fronn other 
U.S. nnilitary branches on March 3, 
for Operation Arctic Care 2008, a 
nnedical outreach nnission that 
brings health care and veterinary 
and nnechanical services to Alaska's 
nnost remote villages. 

During this year's deployment, 
conducted from March 1 through 
14, more than 80 members of the 
Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air 
Force, National Guard and Reserve 
components will use their skills un- 
der harsh weather conditions and in 
difficult terrain to test their ability 
to deploy and operate as a joint 

Operation Arctic Care is con- 
ducted in cooperation with and un- 
der the supervision of the Kodiak 
Area Native Association. Six of the 
island borough's communities - 
Karluk, Old Harbor, Ouzinkie, Port 

Lions, Akhiok and Larsen Bay, will 
receive medical, dental, optometry 
and veterinary services. 

"I'm very enthusiastic about get- 
ting started," said Capt. Ruth Bi- 
alek, attached to Operational Hospi- 
tal Support Unit Great Lakes De- 
tachment G. 

"What makes me feel really 
good is that we can bring treatment 
to Americans who need it. There's 
probably other places in the country 
we could do this," said Bialek. 

As a general dentist, Bialek ex- 
pects to be busy doing restorations, 
fillings or even emergency treat- 
ments at Port Lions, a village with a 
population of 238 on the north 
coast of Kodiak Island. Most pa- 
tients are island natives, known 
today as Alutiiqs. 

By the military providing on-site 
care, the need is reduced for indi- 
viduals to travel to Kodiak City or 
all the way to Anchorage for treat- 

Travel can be cost- prohibitive to 
communities that fall below the 
poverty level. Conversely, the mili- 

tary benefits by traveling to these 
villages, which requires planning 
and execution of localized deploy- 
ments by air and in some cases, by 

In a twist, the first and second 
waves of medical and dental teams 
traveled to their locations aboard 
chartered fishing boats, when poor 
visibility prevented the Alaska Army 
National Guard from sending UH-60 
Blackhawk helicopters to move per- 
sonnel and equipment. 

For Air Force Col. J erry Arends, 
officer in charge of this year's Arctic 
Care, flexibility and a healthy dose 
of humor have been key. 

"Next year the Navy will lead 
the mission, and it will have to be 
by air," he said. "Then the universe 
will be back in balance." 

Despite rough weather, the 
teams started clinical operations on 
time, and everyone is eager to get 
to work seeing patients, Arends 

"People volunteered to come 

(Continued on page 4) 

DoN Awards Contract for Initial Phase of New Walter Reed 

By Amy Rohlfs, J oint Task Force National Capital Region 
Public Affairs 

BETHESDA, Md. - The Naval Facilities Engineering 
Command (NAVFAC) announced March 4 the award of a 
design and construction contract required to establish 
the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center 
(WRNMMC) in Bethesda. 

This contract was awarded to Clark/Balfour Beatty, 
Joint Venture, Bethesda in the amount of $641.4 mil- 
lion. NAVFAC will oversee the planning and construction 
of the new Center. 

"I am confident that the new Walter Reed National 
Military Medical Center will be the crown jewel in an 
already illustrious military medical system. The most 
important mission for us is to provide the highest levels 
of care, comfort and convenience to our wounded he- 
roes so they can focus on the most important mission 
of all, healing," said Dr. S. Ward Casscells, III, Assis- 
tant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. 

The establishment of the WRNMMC on the grounds 
of the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Be- 
thesda was mandated under the 2005 Base Realign- 
ment and Closure Act (BRAC), which recommended the 
realignment of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in- 

cluding the relocation of all tertiary medical services to 
NNMC, and the renaming of NNMC as the Walter Reed Na- 
tional Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). BRAC law re- 
quires all services to be relocated by Sept. 15, 2011. 

For the contractor to complete construction in accor- 
dance with BRAC legislation while minimizing impacts on 
ongoing patient care operations at the Bethesda complex, 
critical activities must be completed well in advance to the 
start of construction. 

The environmental planning process is still ongoing 
under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and 
therefore there has been no issuance of a final Record of 
Decision (ROD). 

To ensure that this outcome of the NEPA process is not 
prejudiced by contract performance actions, the contract 
limits the contractor's performance before the ROD as fol- 
lows: 1) no construction or renovation work; 2) no pur- 
chase of long lead materials; 3) design work limited to 
that necessary to apply for certain approvals from the Na- 
tional Capital Planning Commission and Maryland Historical 
Trust, and to apply for permits such as those related to 
storm water management, sediment control, safety, etc.; 
4) mobilization work is limited to setting up trailers that 

(Continued on page 5) 

March 1^ 


Education, Change Stressed at Autism Conference 

By Lance Cpl. Shannon E. Mcmillan, 
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton 

PENDLETON, Calif.-The second 
annual Marine Corps Installation 
West and Naval Hospital Cannp Pen- 
dleton Autisnn Conference was held 
at the South Mesa Staff Noncom- 
missioned Officer's Club here Feb. 

The conference took place to 
see how the military and health 
care providers can help ease finan- 
cial and administrative challenges 

NMTC continued... 

(Continued from page 1) 

commanding officer, also addressed 
the need for change. 
"We live in turbulent times, and 
never before has response to 
change been more important," 
Craigmiles said during the cere- 
mony. "The movement and co- 
location of all tri-service medical 
training to Fort Sam Houston will be 
a huge undertaking during the next 
three years, and we will be working 
shoulder to shoulder with our Army 
and Air Force colleagues to prepare 
Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen to save 
lives and take care of people." 

The majority of existing Navy 
enlisted medical education training 
programs is scheduled to move to 
San Antonio as part of the 2005 
Base Closure and Realignment 
Commission (BRAC) initiative, said 
Cmdr. Chris Garcia from the tri- 
service METC Transformation and 
Integration Office. The BRAC re- 
quires Navy and Air Force medical 
enlisted training courses relocate to 
Ft. Sam Houston. Commands mov- 
ing include the Naval School of 
Health Sciences (NSHS) San Diego; 
NSHS Portsmouth, Va.; and the 
Naval Hospital Corps School (NHCS) 
Great Lakes, III. Army and Air 
Force programs moving here in- 
clude the Army's histopathology 
training program at the Armed 
Forces Institute at Walter Reed in 
Washington, DC; and the Air 
Force's 82"^ Training Group at 
Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita 
Falls, Texas. 

imposed on military families who 
have children with autism and other 
disabling diseases. 

"The parents are trying to 
change the TRICARE Echo policy," 
said Chris Bastian, parent education 
coordinator with the federally 
funded Specialized Training of Mili- 
tary Parents. 

The policy puts a $2,500 monthly 
cap on medical expenses paid to 
military families. Some military 
families have to pay thousands of 
dollars out of pocket because the 
amount of doctor- prescribed ther- 

The first Navy students are 
scheduled to begin training in the 
new facilities in May 2010. Garcia 
said the target date for all Navy 
students to train at Ft. Sam Hous- 
ton is prior to Sept. 15, 2011, the 
BRAC deadline. The student load 
will phase in as the new facilities 
are completed. 

The average daily student load 
will be about 9,000 Sailors, Soldiers 
and Airmen in 2011 when the inte- 
gration is complete, Garcia said, 
making METC the world's largest 
military medical education and 
training institution. Of the 9,000 
enlisted students, approximately 
1/3 - 2,900 - are expected to be 
Navy. The Army average daily stu- 
dent load is expected to be about 
4,900, and the Air Force about 

There will be five new instruc- 
tional facilities ranging in size from 
50,000-245,000 square feet. The 
new facility housing the Hospital 
Corps program will be the largest. 
NMTC and the Air Force service ele- 
ment will be housed together in a 
new two-story building with NMTC 
occupying the first floor that in- 
cludes a traditional Navy quarter- 
deck. There will be three new dor- 
mitories constructed - two for Navy 
students and one for Air Force - 
and a new dining facility is being 

Garcia said a variety of the 
courses will be taught in an inte- 
grated environment, with members 
of all three services attending. 

apy sessions is far greater than this 

"I've seen families put their 
mortgages up to pay for their 
child's medical treatment," said 
Cheryl Erickson, Exceptional Family 
Member Program manager with 
Headquarters Marine Corps. "The 
reimbursement should be a prior- 

Erickson said the current order 
is 10 years old. She hopes the new 
order, which is still in progress, will 

(Continued on page 5) 

SAN ANTONIO - The Navy Medicine Train- 
ing Center (NMTC) command logo is dis- 
played just after its unveiling during the 
Feb. 29 commissioning ceremony of the 
Navy Medicine Training Center (NMTC) at 
Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. 
U.S. Navy photo by Olivia J . Mendoza 

There will also be service-unique 

Craigmiles pointed out that US 
military personnel in Iraq and Af- 
ghanistan are experiencing the low- 
est battle mortality and disease 
non- battle injury rates in history, 
due in large part to exceptional 
military medical personnel and their 

"The training we deliver to our 
Corpsmen and Medics will save lives 
on the battlefield," he said. 
"Therefore, we must continue to 
provide the best possible support to 
our Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen in 
all aspects of their training and de- 

March 1| 

Page 4 

Yokosuka Utilizes Pediatric Aquatic Ther- 

By Mass Communication Specialist 
Seaman Kari R. Bergman, Fleet Pub- 
lic Affairs Center Det., J apan 

YOKOSUKA, Japan- U.S. Na- 
val Hospital (USNH) Yokosuka 
kicked off a pediatric aquatic ther- 
apy program Feb. 14, for the chil- 
dren of the Educational and Devel- 
opmental Intervention Services 

Three weeks into the weekly 
Thursday sessions, a handful of 
children were diving into the fun 
and reaping the benefits of aquatic 

"I have been bringing my son, 
Matthew, every Thursday for the 
aquatic therapy that EDIS recom- 
mended and I know that this really 
benefits him for the future," said 
Glemor Guarin. 

According to Lt. Toby Degen- 
hardt, a physical therapist, aquatic 

therapy is an alternative form of 
therapy that is not used to take 
place of regular land- based ther- 

"It's just used as an adjunct to 
help facilitate land-based goals to 
help increase and strengthen range 
of motion," Degenhardt said. "The 
buoyancy of the water helps to 
unload joints on a patient." 

According to Degenhardt, the 
aquatic therapy is used as an early 
intervention for the children of 

"We usually use this therapy for 
kids that are zero to three years of 
age, which is early intervention, we 
use it with children that have cere- 
bral palsy, some type of mental 
retardation, and developmental de- 
lays," said Degenhardt. 

Lt. j.g. Davia Christiansen, an 
occupational therapist, said this 
type of therapy works to stimulate 

a child's senses and motor skills. 

"It works great with children 
that have autism or speech delay, 
because the pressure of the water 
gives them a sense of organization 
and elicits different sounds," 
Christiansen said. "It also promotes 
increased eye contact, which is im- 
portant for language production, 
visual awareness and attention." 

Since water displaces about 70 
percent of a person's body weight, 
the pool environment helps children 
with cerebral palsy or Downs syn- 
drome to focus more on their 
movement in a somewhat weight- 
less environment. 

Children are responding to the 
therapy and parents are happy with 
the results they've seen over the 
past three weeks. 

Arctic Care continued... 

(Continued from page 2) 

here, so we started out on a positive note," said Arends. 
"We're just getting out more piecemeal than we imagined 
- cargo's going out with the Kodiak Civil Air Patrol, a few 
people are going to go out on the local airline, more are 
going out on the boats." 

Other key players at Arctic Care 2008 are the Coast 
Guard's Integrated Support Command at Kodiak, which is 
providing barracks, whereas Air Station Kodiak will pro- 
vide helicopter support. Uniformed officers from the U.S. 
Public Health Service are also participating. 

This year, for the first time, a group of Marines will 
provide classes in small engine repair and maintenance 
service in the villages. 

"When we went on our site survey, we learned the 
villages really depend on their generators for power," Ar- 
ends said. "They're not on a grid of any kind, so they 
have to be reliable. When we talked to the villages' public 
safety officers, that was one of the things they brought 
up. So the Marines are up here and they have their tools. 
That's a new one for Arctic Care, simply because that was 
a need and we had people to do it." 

Alaska Army National Guard Col. Jeff Arnold of An- 
chorage, has participated in four Arctic Care operations. 
This time around, he's coordinating ground, air and sea 

"The mission provides incredible services to our citi- 
zens, even our four-legged ones," said Arnold. "It's a 
great deployment opportunity for the services: active. 
Guard, Reserve, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. This 
year's expedition is especially testing our agility. At the 
start of this, who would have ever considered that we'd 

use Civil Air Patrol or charter boats? But we're still meet- 
ing the mission and keeping everyone safe." 

Operation Arctic Care rotates to different areas of 
rural Alaska each year. Last year's mission was per- 
formed in Kotzebue, the site of the first Arctic Care in 
1995. Over a period of 10 days, military healthcare pro- 
viders treated 1,405 medical patients and 907 dental 
patients, made 521 pairs of glasses on site, completed 
449 sports physicals and vaccinated 2,374 animals. 

Lt. Cmdr. Victoria Kou serves with the 4th Marine 
Division, 3rd Battalion, 14th Regiment. As an emergency 
medicine doctor, she likes the idea of providing medical 
care for Americans outside the continental United States. 

"If there are acute medical issues that I can easily 
fix, that would be great, but hopefully I can provide edu- 
cation for illness, nutrition and overall preventive health 
measures," Kou said. "We're here for only a short time, 
but I do believe we can make a long-term impact." 

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Dominador Fabros will 
also serve at Port Lions. Attached to Camp Pendleton's 
Operational Hospital Support Unit Detachment H, he has 
participated in a number of similar missions, including 
Operation Cobra Gold. 

"I didn't expect that within our own back yard there 
are people who need our help," said Fabros. "I am very 
grateful to this country, so it's only proper for me to vol- 
unteer in this way." 

Operation Arctic Care is an annual training event 
sponsored by the Innovative Readiness Training program 
under the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for 
Reserve Affairs. 


Autism continued. 

(Continued from page 3) 

help the time of enrollment, changing it from months to 

Erickson said that the continuity of care is very im- 
portant. Military families that move have to establish 
new relationships with new service providers. 

"It's hard enough to be a parent with a child who has 
autism," Bastian said. "It's even more difficult for the 
families to deal with the insurance companies." 

To help military families with moving, the military is 
looking into assigning case managers to each family. 
"Case managers will be critical to the families," said Maj. 
Gen. Michael R. Lehnert, Commanding General Marine 
Corps Installations West. "Families don't have to hit the 
ground, unpack and then find medical information for 
their child. The case manager can help them with that." 

Case managers help find information on housing, 
schools and special programs available to the family 

"We need to inform our families better; they need to 
know what is available to them," Lehnert said. 

He said every family has a unique situation and to help 
each family, the Marine Corps needs to treat the whole 
family and not just the special-needs child. 

"Family members should never give up hope," Lehnert 
said. "Never give up hope because the Marine Corps ca- 
res. We are committed to finding a solution." 

Contract continued... 

(Continued from page 2) 

will be used to temporarily house 
hospital personnel who are dis- 
placed during construction. 

The preliminary design work, 
preparatory staging, and permitting 
efforts under the contract will con- 
tribute to a better informed ROD 
and support the timely completion 
of the project under BRAC law. No 
construction or ground breaking, 
however, will occur until after the 
ROD is signed. 

The ROD is expected in May 
2008. The draft Environmental Im- 
pact Statement (EIS) for the pro- 
ject was published in December 
2007, and the final EIS is scheduled 
for release in early April 2008. The 
comment period under NEPA ended 
Jan. 28, 2008, and the official re- 

iureau or ivieaicine ana burgery 

Public Affairs Office 

2300 E Street NW 

Washington, DC 20372-5300 

Phone: (202) 762-3221 

Fax: (202) 762-1705 

sponse to public comments will be 
included in the final EIS. 

The Department of Defense 
(DoD) is aware of the increased 
traffic concerns of the surrounding 
communities, and continues to con- 
sider measures to mitigate traffic 
impacts that could arise during the 
period of construction, and work 
with local civilian leadership. 

The WRNMMC is conceptualized 
to be an approximately 345-bed 
medical center with the full range of 
intensive and complex specialty, 
and subspecialty medical services, 
including specialized facilities for 
the most seriously war injured. 

WRNMMC will become the U.S. 
military's premier tertiary referral 
center for casualty and beneficiary 
care, provide postgraduate level 
education and other training, and 
serve as a critical medical research 
center. Concurrent to this regional 
enhancement will be the construc- 
tion of a new 120-bed military 
medical treatment facility at Fort 

"This is the next step in building 
the world-class medical center at 
the hub of the nation's premier re- 
gional healthcare system," said 
Rear Adm. John Mateczun, com- 
mander. Joint Task Force, Capital 
Region Medical. "The department 

intends to meet its obligation to 
ensure our service members and 
families receive the highest quality 
of care. There is nothing more im- 
portant than taking care of our 
wounded warriors." 

The new WRNMMC medical facil- 
ity complex will include a mix of 
new outpatient and inpatient facili- 
ties as well as extensive renova- 
tions and upgrades to the existing 
hospital facilities. New circulation 
pathways, utility tunnels, and a 
parking structure are also included 
in the plans. Supporting facilities to 
be built under a separate contract 
include non-clinical and Warrior 
Transition administrative spaces, 
barracks, a gymnasium and addi- 
tional parking. 

Approximately 2,200 staff will 
be added to the Bethesda campus. 
Most of the new personnel added to 
the future WRNMMC facility will 
transfer from other DoD locations. 
Additionally the Fisher Foundation 
will be funding the construction of 
two new Fisher Houses and a Na- 
tional Intrepid Center of Excellence 
for Traumatic Brain Injury and Psy- 
chological Health Diagnosis, treat- 
ment, clinical training, and related 
services to support wounded veter- 
ans and their families. 

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